What are moles?

Moles can be present at birth or develop throughout life. They are common spots on the skin that form from the growth of pigment cells (melanocytes).

Who is at risk for moles?

Moles are very common and the majority of people will have them. People with fair skin and light eyes tend to have more moles.

What causes moles?

The amount of moles someone has depends on their genetics, exposure to the sun, and immunity. Exposure to the sun can be dependent on geographic location and time spent outdoors. Moles tend to look the same amongst family members. Different treatments that suppress immune system can cause more moles to develop at well.

What are the complications of a mole?

The risk of melanoma is increased for people who have over 100 moles. Consider seeing a dermatologist annually for a skin exam.

Protect Yourself

  • Wear a zinc sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day. You are exposed to the sun’s rays simply driving in your car and walking by windows at home or work. The best sunscreens have a physical sun block such as zinc oxide. This ingredient will protect you from both UVA (aging rays) and UVB (burning rays) radiation.
  • Between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, try to stay under an umbrella or shade trees.
  • Use waterproof sunscreen at the pool or beach. One adult should use 2 tablespoons of sunscreen. A family of 4 will go through 1½ 8 oz bottles of sunscreen in two days. Reapply every 1-2 hours, with swimming and/or excessive sweating.
  • When you are outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your scalp, face, and neck
  • Wear protective clothing. You can purchase UV protective clothing at REI or L.L. Bean. If you can see through a shirt when you hold it up to the light, it will not protect your skin from the sun.
  • Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection will help prevent damage to your eyes.
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